Page 0004

Young people at Prior's

Court got a taste of

Shakespeare from the

comfort and safety of our

site, thanks to a theatre

company and video

conferencing software.

Sessions with Flute Theatre have

been held with actors performing

A Midsummer Night's Dream via

Zoom for one of our young people

in each performance.

Flute Theatre, which creates

and performs Shakespeare

productions for those affected

by autism and their families, has

embraced video conferencing

technology during Covid-19 to

provide its inclusive experiences

involving sensory games.

At Prior's Court, the arts are a

crucial aspect of our

curriculum to give

our young people,

many of whom are

pre-verbal, a powerful

means of communicating

their needs, expressions and

feelings.

Due to coronavirus-related

restrictions, the usual regular visits

of a theatre company to Prior's

Court have been halted, with

the alternative provided by Flute

Theatre a welcome addition for

our young people to benefit from.

In the sessions, our young people

were encouraged to mimic the

gestures and noises made by the

actors during the course of the

performance.

Claudio Vilella Moreno, one

of our teachers who has

a passion for drama and

supported our young

people on the sessions,

said: "The gestures and

noises used through the

performance are great as a way to

develop a young person's social

skills. And it was brilliant how this

worked so well on Zoom.

Thank you to Flute Theatre

for sharing the Zoom call

screengrabs.

Shakespeare on Zoom with theatre company

@PriorsCourt

/priorscourt

Parents tell their stories of complex autism

Shaun and

Autism

Practitioner Santi

Martinez-Parra

during filming

with ECP Video

on-site.

The parents of two of our

young people have told their

stories on camera about the

impact of having children

with complex autism.

Matt and Suzanne, parents of

young person Zac, and Geoff,

father of young adult Shaun,

were interviewed to show what

complex autism means to them

and the impact having a child

with the condition has had on

their families.

The films also explore how Prior's

Court has made an impact on the

health, happiness, independence

and ability to work of their

children, and also the positive

difference made to their families.

Zac joined Prior's Court in

2019, so Matt and Suzanne

speak about the process of

understanding what their

son's diagnosis meant and

getting the provision they

want for their son.

In one of the films,

Suzanne said: "I didn't

know how serious the

condition could be. I didn't

know that it meant perhaps

he would never be able to walk

properly, or talk, or use the toilet.

"You reach the realisation that

you're not the best person to look

after your child which is heartbreaking

because you feel like a

complete failure - the one thing

you are supposed to do is look

after that child and keep them

safe and we couldn't do that."

Matt added: "We went to an open

day at Prior's Court and you see

among the staff this fierce loyalty

and drive and pride in showing us

what they were doing with these

amazing kids.

"Where so many people had

written Zac off, here was

somewhere where he would be

at the heart of everyone's day, to

give him the life he deserves and

needs."

Shaun has been at Prior's Court

for a longer period of time and

so Geoff focuses on how staff at

Prior's Court have changed his

son's life.

In one of the films, Geoff said:

"[Pre-Prior's Court, as a parent]

you're not understanding what

Shaun wants as he cannot

communicate that.

"If he was having a wobbly bit,

it would last three or four hours

and that's stressful on Shaun.

He would be headbutting doors,

headbutting the floor, slapping

himself.

"But there's none of that now. And

that's all down to Prior's Court."

The videos are available to view

on our YouTube channel and

a selection also appeared in

the online photo exhibition as

part of our brand launch (see

opposite).

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